I saw a girl who used to work at the coffeeshop in my neighborhood. I looked back after passing her on my bike and she turned, hesitated a moment, then smiled and waved.
I used to sit inside but now mostly sit outside. Probably plague thinking. I used to be able to get a lot of work done here but now I’m often distracted by passersby or their dogs. Or a woman sitting at a neighboring table. I make aimless drawings and drink my coffee then leave.
I don’t know the people who work at the shop like I used to. They were at least acquaintances before but only bring me coffee and breakfast sandwiches now. I’m just another customer to them. Lockdown made people more wary. The new counter people aren’t as open as the ones from before. Maybe I’m not either. I spend much fewer hours here now and I spend most of them out on the sidewalk in the cul-de-sac rather than inside like I used to. Why would they remember me? They only see me long enough to take my order.
I used to paint inside the coffeeshop. Now I only draw sometimes. Haven’t brought the gouaches here since before lockdown. Now when there’s color in my pictures it’s from bits of old paper or markers rather than paint. The subject-matter is the tension between past and present rather than the view in front of my face.
Used to be different. Maybe there’s a way back but do I want to go there?